Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Bruce Lee's advice

He said, “Because you might as well be dead. Seriously, if you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level.”

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Cricket: Martin Crowe's article

Excerpts from Martin Crowe's article: http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/581892.html
Some would say that the hosts should be used to the conditions and ought to be able to develop the appropriate game to prosper. I agree, and my personal adjustment was to shorten my backlift significantly so I could adjust better to the inconsistent bounce and movement, swing or seam. By shortening my backlift I scored less quickly but managed to stay at the crease longer. This later also helped combat reverse swing.
Biomechanics became the new buzzword for New Zealand's finest batting talent. The theory passed on was that hand speed and power efficiency "through the shot" was everything. Out the window went footwork, body position, soft hands and hitting the ball late below the eyes. In came heavier bats, high backlifts, minimal footwork and going hard at the ball.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Dialectic vs Debate vs Rhetoric

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dialectic:

Dialectic (also dialectics and the dialectical method) is a method of argument for resolving disagreement that has been central to Indian and European philosophy since antiquity. The word dialectic originated in ancient Greece, and was made popular by Plato in the Socratic dialogues.

The dialectical method is dialogue between two or more people holding different points of view about a subject, who wish to establish the truth of the matter by dialogue, with reasoned arguments.[1]

Dialectics is different from debate, wherein the debaters are committed to their points of view, and mean to win the debate, either by persuading the opponent, proving their argument correct, or proving the opponent's argument incorrect – thus, either a judge or a jury must decide who wins the debate.

Dialectics is also different from rhetoric, wherein the speaker uses logos, pathos, or ethos to persuade listeners to take their side of the argument.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Fanie de Villiers

I used to vary my pace: 138-139kph was my average pace, but then I bowled the same delivery at 128ks an hour. That is one thing bowlers must learn. I don't see anybody varying his pace by 10ks. They all go 119 or 135. You can vary your pace by 5ks, 8ks an hour. That's when you get the midwicket catches, because the timing is a little bit different.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Murmuration, Sunset Dance - starlings dancing in the sky

My friend Sadeep forwarded this, and I would like to store it here.

One of nature's great sights.

It looks like there are other videos of this on YouTube, but this one is captured by someone while canoeing...So they were there on the water while the birds danced above them..

Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.
Didn't do much reading but, some articles say that this is done by birds while migrating at the start of winter. And then, I read some comments on videos saying that this is done by the starlings every evening at sunset in their towns..

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Larry Mason's page on Sports, Coaching

(I stumbled onto this page looking for explanation of what 'capital goods' means.. But found these interesting links and would like to store them here)

Philisophy of coaching - http://www.unc.edu/~mason/trial/phil.html
Coaching youth baseball - http://www.unc.edu/~mason/trial/baseball.html

I wish I took cricket coaching as a kid. Not sure when, but, later on, I realized that I hardly knew the things that make cricket really interesting - bowling - how to swing the ball both ways, how to move the ball off the pitch both ways; batting - when to play forward and when to play backfoot, the footwork for playing different shots etc.. At least I understand some of those things now, and hence can enjoy watching Test cricket at least..

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Seeing via sound

For later viewing - Learning about Seeing from the Blind - Alvaro Pascual-Leone


How the Brain can Hear Shapes
May 25, 2007
The work of Amir Amedi, William Stern, and colleagues at the Center is highlighted in a recent New Scientist article, which reports on a recent publication in Nature Neuroscience (Nature Neuroscience, DOI: 10.1038/nn1912). Using fMRI and a device called The vOICe, which converts visual details into sound, the study demonstrates that the brain area LOtv is driven by the presence of shape, but it doesn't care whether the input is visual, tactile or auditory. This is consistent with the notion of a metamodal brain organization put forward by Pascual-Leone and Hamilton some years ago.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Excerpt from http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/06/28/ben.okri.nigeria/index.html?hpt=hp_c2
Reading is an act of civilization; it's one of the greatest acts of civilization because it takes the free raw material of the mind and builds castles of possibilities. And in the building of those castles of possibilities it frees the creative matrix of men and women. When you can imagine you begin to create and when you begin to create you realize that you can create a world that you prefer to live in, ....

Sunday, June 19, 2011

vat19.com and moreofit.com

www.vat19.com - nice website that sells useful & fun things

http://www.moreofit.com - Finds similar websites

Monday, November 8, 2010


New search engine that use 'slashtags'..Have to try it.

Selectors Vs Coach in Cricket

Talking about Australia's selection problems and selectors in general, Ian Chappel makes an interesting point - http://www.cricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/485846.html
The really good selectors have a knack for seeing the current requirements while also visualising what's needed in the future. Another reason why it's more important to spend lavishly to get the right selectors rather than reward a coach with a big contract.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Certificate in Motorcycle Service and Repair

IGNOU - Certificate in Motorcycle Service and Repair

In Hyderabad:
Mr. Shankaraya S Swamy
Kohinoor Technical Institute Pvt. Ltd.
No. 3-4-660, Totaram House, Narayanaguda Road
Hyderabad - 500 029
Phone : 040-66134567, 09000216109

Friday, October 29, 2010

Food Security


The role of IMF loans, what US aid really means, what "opening up markets" means, etc are explained in the above article.

Excerpt - "30 Years Ago Haiti Grew All the Rice It Needed. What Happened? "

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Optical Illusion 3D


Michael Bevan

Among the cricket players I have watched, my favourite bowler - Wasim Akram; and my favourite batsmen - Michael Bevan.

Wikipedia talks about a match that is Bevan's most famous. I saw this match and have been a fan of his since then.
Last 8 minutes of the match - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_OrxxPgX6w
Link to 15 minute highlights of the match -
Another epic innings (fighting while down to the last ball) - 185 in World XI vs Asia XI - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSBisb9iGPM&feature=related

Excerpt from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Bevan -
Nonetheless, he proved a reliable anchor at the bottom of the middle order, and he would often patiently guide Australia to victory following a rare top-order collapse - leading to him being nicknamed "The Finisher". One of his most famous "anchor" innings was in the New Years Day One Day International at the Sydney Cricket Ground against the West Indies in 1996. With the Australians at one stage 6/38 chasing 173, his unbeaten 150-minute 78 got the Australians over the line with a four on the last ball of the innings
He could walk into any situation and play according to it. To me, his entrance was no different than the entrance of Chiru or Rajni in their movies. It was breathtaking to see him rescue Australia every time they were in trouble. Whenever Australia were in trouble and he would walk-in to bat, everyone knew... the players, commentators, TV viewers..everyone, knew, that it was going to be a different game from then on ..because it was going to be surgically controlled by Bevan until the last ball.. Whatever had happened before he arrived onto the crease, in which direction the momentum was, etc, was going to be of no use to anyone anymore... It was as if the match just started anew...An analyst would divide the innings into Pre-Bevan-period and Bevan-period...There would be no Post-Bevan-period because the guy would usually remain not out. Fantastic, kathi, deadly, amazing..

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Yoda Speak

Yoda speak -

People who know me will definitely say that, my oral communication, in any language, is not great... So, perhaps I should try speaking Yoda-Speak.. A fun way to speak, it definitely is.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Website about Radiation


I really have to find out if the following statement (excerpt from above website) is correct -
Part of the problem is the latent period; that is, the time between exposure to radiation and cell mutation. A person exposed to low-level radiation may develop cancer twenty years later, but by that time it could be blamed on any number of factors including genetics, pollution or smoking tobacco.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Zoom into the World


"Record every idea - draw it or write notes."

Idle inspiration - Why laziness is a good path to inventing

Excerpt -

His top tip for inventors, amateur or otherwise?

"Record every idea - draw it or write notes. You never know when some stupid thought might turn to gold. The best inventions make you smack you head and think 'why did no-one else think of that, it's so obvious' - but it's not obvious, someone's spent time thinking about it.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Nice proverb

My friend Solomon posted this proverb on Facebook..
"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others. - African proverb"

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Article in New Yorker that my friend DP forwarded - Later (What does procrastination tell us about ourselves?)

Excerpts -
Lack of confidence, sometimes alternating with unrealistic dreams of heroic success, often leads to procrastination, and many studies suggest that procrastinators are self-handicappers: rather than risk failure, they prefer to create conditions that make success impossible, a reflex that of course creates a vicious cycle. McClellan was also given to excessive planning, as if only the ideal battle plan were worth acting on. Procrastinators often succumb to this sort of perfectionism.
If identity is a collection of competing selves, what does each of them represent? The easy answer is that one represents your short-term interests (having fun, putting off work, and so on), while another represents your long-term goals. But, if that’s the case, it’s not obvious how you’d ever get anything done: the short-term self, it seems, would always win out. The philosopher Don Ross offers a persuasive solution to the problem. For Ross, the various parts of the self are all present at once, constantly competing and bargaining with one another—one that wants to work, one that wants to watch television, and so on. The key, for Ross, is that although the television-watching self is interested only in watching TV, it’s interested in watching TV not just now but also in the future. This means that it can be bargained with: working now will let you watch more television down the road. Procrastination, in this reading, is the result of a bargaining process gone wrong.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Nice pic

Football + Thunderstorm
(Click on pic to see larger image)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A reason to Believe

"You need to believe in things that aren't true....How else can they become?"

One of the lines above - "To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape."
Beautiful depiction of humanity (YouTube comment)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Richard Feynman, Science, Beauty

From http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11299244
Richard Feynman did not understand how scientific knowledge could make anything dull.

He once related an argument with an artist who declared that scientists removed the beauty of flowers and made them seem dull. Feynman vehemently disagreed.

"A knowledge of science only adds to the excitement and mystery and awe of a flower. It only adds. I don't understand how it subtracts," he said.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Memory Book

Excerpt from a Amazon review of The Memory Book -
The use of "pegging" is central to the memorization methods taught in this book. Every number from 0 through 9 has a phonetic sound(s) associated with it. By mastering the basics, one can quickly figure out how to memorize a list of 100 words/names if he really wants to.

Here's an oversimplified example. Memorize the following ten groupings by using a simple rhyming method:
1. Bun        2. Shoe        3. Tree        4. Door       5. Hive        6. Sticks        7. Heaven        8. Gate        9. Vine        10. Pen
Now think of a word you want to memorize. This will be the first word in your memory. Now peg this word to the word "bun". For example, if you thought about a cloud, picture a hamburger bun with a big pile of "cloud" sitting in it instead of a hamburger patty. The more outlandish the connection you imagine, the easier it will be to recall. Peg your second word to "shoe" and so on.
Note: Bun sounds like 1, Shoe sounds like 2, Tree sounds like 3 etc..


Phys Ed: How to Fix a Bad Tennis Shoulder




Below excerpt from CNN article about Khan Academy (see previous post), talks about how he got started. And I think this is the way most success stories start.
In the summer of 2004, while still living in Boston, Khan learned that his seventh-grader cousin, Nadia, in New Orleans was having trouble in math class converting kilograms. He agreed to remotely tutor her. Using Yahoo Doodle software as a shared notepad, as well as a telephone, Nadia thrived -- so much so that Khan started working with her brothers, Ali and Arman. Word spread to other relatives and friends. Khan wrote JavaScript problem generators to keep up a supply of practice exercises. But between their soccer practices, his job, and multiple time zones, scheduling became impossible. "I started to record videos on YouTube for them to watch at their own pace," Khan recalls. Other users tuned in, and the blueprint for Khan Academy was created.
So, I think we cannot set out to be successful. We just keep doing what we like to do, and whatever success is deserved, will come our way. I think that is the way things work.

Khan Academy (15 minute Online Educational Videos)

This is definitely the 'find' of this year (Thanks to my friend Kiran Sagi for this).
It looks like Khan Academy provides high-quality educational videos on different subjects at one place... 'At one place' is what makes Khan Academy priceless for me.

Sal Khan is Bill Gates' favorite teacher -

About Khan Academy - The Khan Academy is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) with the mission of providing a world-class education to anyone, anywhere. Despite being the work of one man, Salman Khan, this 1600+ video library is the most-used educational video resource as measured by YouTube video views per day and unique users per month.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ranatunga and Advertisements

Excerpt from - http://blogs.cricinfo.com/tourdiaries/archives/2009/02/tropic_thunder.php
Ranatunga has featured in only three advertisements so far. The first was to raise funds for the General Hospital, the second for a polio drive and the third for a garbage disposal campaign. All were done for free.

"I got 250 rupees for my first Test and traveled by train to the game. After that Lipton Tea came in and said they would offer me 250,000 rupees to feature in an advertisement. I asked them to meet my mother. And she told them, 'My son is not for sale'. I was lying in my bed that night when she came and sat next to me and explained her decision. I still remember what she said: 'Son, remember, never ever sell your talent and face for anything.'"

Experimentation Mode

(This is a continuation of How To Play post below) -
Experimentation: Amongst the below modes, mode 6 (Experimentation with technique) is extremely important to learn any sport. A lot of people practice hard for hours/days/years with the same technique. If the technique is flawed, all that practice will not really show results/improvement. So if we feel that we have improper technique, it is probably better to spend a lot of time experimenting until we hit upon a better technique.

Ditto if our game has hit a plateau (i.e. not improving any further) with our current technique.

From what I have read/heard, even professional sportsmen, apart from normal practice, are always experimenting with various methods to improve on whatever technical flaws they might have.

From my experiences, after learning the basics, I think it is better to, first, try only minor modifications to our natural technique. Usually that itself can make a huge difference in results. If nothing minor works, then we go for radical changes.

EDIT (Sep 13 2010):Here is the perfect example - Nadal's serve during US Open 2010, which has been the main point of discussion during the entire US Open 2010. As I write this, Nadal is to play Djokovic in the US Open final.

Below excerpt shows how a minor modification to his service-grip has resulted in an enormous gain in speed - Washington Post - With reworked serve, Nadal is rolling along
Excerpts -
But Nadal has also used the 2010 U.S. Open to unveil a new serve - far more potent than the perfectly adequate one that has helped him to eight major titles (five French Opens, two Wimbledons and one Australian Open) by age 24.

The evolution begins with the serve, with the Spaniard now cracking aces upwards of 130 mph - a good 10 mph faster, if not more, than before.

Nadal has provided few details about where this extra power comes from, saying simply, "I change a little bit the grip." But it has been a key to his impressive results to date.
The MAIN point to note here is that, even Nadal, who has already won 8 Grand Slams, still continues to tweak his technique a little bit (i.e. experiment).

Friday, September 3, 2010

How to Play

The below thoughts were triggered by someone asking me if I was very competitive sometime back. I had no answer at the time. Perhaps my answer should have been - "It depends".

Because, when we are playing a sport, following are the different situations we can be in -
Mode 1. Playing to Win (Seriously) - e.g. in a tournament, league etc
Mode 2. Playing To Win (for fun) - e.g when playing with your friends
Mode 3. Playing for fun - when nobody cares who wins
Mode 4. Playing while being taught - goal is to try and follow someone's instructions (i.e. no experimenting on our own)
Mode 5. Playing to Practice - goal is to repeatedly practice (on our own) what we have already learnt, with minor modifications if necessary
Mode 6. Playing to Experiment - where we try totally new methods (on our own)

Previously, I have experimented in matches that I was playing to win . That is obviously not correct.
Perhaps every time we step on to a court/field, we should just think about which 'mode' we are going to adopt that particular day. If we switch modes, we should probably do it consciously.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Limits, How to take a bath with cold water

It is very disheartening for me to learn of my limits. Ideally you want people to think you have no limits..

One such limit that I used to have was not being able take a bath with cold water.
Nowadays everyone has geysers in their homes, so people don't face this situation as often anymore.. But if you are like me, you would like to think of yourself as tough enough to be able take a cold-water bath.. Think about this - can you imagine James Bond complain that there is no warm water in the bathroom? So here is the simple solution...

Hi-Tech Tools needed - bucket
Hi-Tech Procedure - Fill up the bucket with cold water; lift it; and dump it over yourself all at once.... After that it is a cake-walk.

Once you come out of the bathroom victorious, ask me if you don't feel the following - Impossible is Nothing..

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Reflexivity in Economics

FROM WIKIPEDIA - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reflexivity_(social_theory)
Reflexivity in Economics

Billionaire investor George Soros has been an active promoter of the relevance of reflexivity to economics first propounding it publicly in his 1987 book. [2]

Reflexivity is discordant with Equilibrium theory, which stipulates that markets move towards equilibrium and that non-equilibrium fluctuations are merely random noise that will soon be corrected. In equilibrium theory, prices in the long run at equilibrium reflect the underlying fundamentals, which are unaffected by prices.

Reflexivity asserts that prices do in fact influence the fundamentals and that these newly-influenced set of fundamentals then proceed to change expectations, thus influencing prices; the process continues in a self-reinforcing pattern. Because the pattern is self-reinforcing, markets tend towards disequilibrium. Sooner or later they reach a point where the sentiment is reversed and negative expectations become self-reinforcing in the downward direction, thereby explaining the familiar pattern of boom and bust cycles

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A change in attitude

PROBLEM: I have a strange problem. I don't like taking orders/to-do-lists from myself.

I don't have a problem with being asked to do something by someone else. But when it is I, who asks myself to do something, I end up in a strange situation.

First, there is an instant aversion to doing that task. Then, I get caught up in trying to figure out if I really really 'need' to do that task..
"How much significance does that task really have, considering the miracle of life, cosmos etc".. "Ok, what will happen if I don't do it today...Ok,ok,ok, what will happen if I don't do it ever?" etc etc... and eventually I come to the conclusion that "the world will not end if I don't do it, so forget about it"..

I have previously tried to attack this problem by disguising the to-do-task as a 'duty'. But 'duty' is a big word, and most of our daily chores definitely do not qualify as our life's duties. So that strategy failed...

SOLUTION: Recently I came up with a new strategy that seems to be working somewhat - I tell myself - "I can do this and then that", instead of saying, "I should do this and then I have to really do that".......OR I 'ask' myself what I 'can' do instead of 'telling/ordering' myself what I 'should' be doing...

And this seemingly minor change has made a world of difference to me. Because this way, I no longer digress.... into a debate with myself, about a task's eligibility to qualify as my 'duty'...

And the underlying reason why this strategy might actually work for a lot of procrastinators is that this strategy addresses the real problem - there are only a few things we really care about, a 100% I mean.. And if any task is not related to those few things, then no one, including ourselves, can convince us to start caring about them...because at that point, we are talking about changing our personality, which is not easy for anyone..

One important thing I observed is that 'what I can do' is really a super-duper super-set of 'what I should be doing'.... Probably we should approach life itself with this attitude rather than constantly go over, what we feel, are our list of chores/duties, and feel burdened by them.

Hopefully, with this change in attitude, I can do some things right.

EXTENDING...Apart from our personal life, if we apply this to other areas -
A not-so-uncommon scenario is people being under-utilized in a company. Probably, employers/managers should give their employees, apart from their to-do-list, a can-do-list as well or allow the employees to come up with their own can-do-list. A work environment where employees are given a list of responsibilities and then restricted to those responsibilities, is not such a great environment to work in.

As employees, we should probably think about what we 'can' do instead of restricting ourselves to our assigned to-do-list. This is probably the main difference between people who move 'up' versus the rest.

(A relevant post by Seth Godin is - The problem with unlimited.
He suggests that specifying a 'max' limit is good sometimes. Currently a 'minimum' limit is what everyone is used to. For e.g. At work, I am expected, at the minimum, to finish a certain set of tasks this week. But no one has given me, the maximum set of tasks that I am allowed to finish this week... :) )

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Options, Screwing up

One thing critical to decision-making is probably this - when I don't like any of the options that I have before me, instead of picking the 'best' among them, I should probably try to come up with more options.

I have often had to justify my actions by saying - "that was the best option I had at that time"... We hear this statement from almost every person who screws up.

I think where I went wrong was this - it was Not in the decision-making process of which option was best, but in the decision-making process of which options I had.

(Below are related posts by Seth Godin - The decision before the decision , Getting unstuck: solving the perfect problem)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Not being self-focussed in your 20s, How the brain matures

Now there is scientific research to support young people in their 20s who are not focused-in-life.... I am not in my 20s anymore, but I am that sort of a person, so it is good to have scientific backup..

Interesting Excerpts -

As the brain matures, one thing that happens is the pruning of the synapses. Synaptic pruning does not occur willy-nilly; it depends largely on how any one brain pathway is used. By cutting off unused pathways, the brain eventually settles into a structure that’s most efficient for the owner of that brain, creating well-worn grooves for the pathways that person uses most. Synaptic pruning intensifies after rapid brain-cell proliferation during childhood and again in the period that encompasses adolescence and the 20s. It is the mechanism of “use it or lose it”: the brains we have are shaped largely in response to the demands made of them.
..Maybe there’s an analogy to be found in the hierarchy of needs, a theory put forth in the 1940s by the psychologist Abraham Maslow. According to Maslow, people can pursue more elevated goals only after their basic needs of food, shelter and sex have been met.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

No Country For Old Men discussion

Excerpt from a good comment - The dream I believe talks about his father who was a sheriff, carrying a horn and a fire "the way people used to do" in past generations. He is carrying this as far out as possible, before he sets the fire up, and tells his son that he will know he's found him when he reaches the fire. This dream is symbolic I think for how the father (being a sheriff) pushed back the dismal tide. He knew that there is no way to put the fire out, only to "push it back" and delay "the dismal tide." The movie ends on the line: "And then I woke up", because Sheriff Bell realizes that he has reached that fire. He is already living in the hell that his father had tried to push back.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Nice quote

My friend Raja posted this very nice quote -
"Life isn't about waiting for the storms to pass; it's about learning to dance in the rain" - Anonymous

Friday, August 13, 2010

Earth's personal bodyguard is ....

It is Jupiter it seems.
Excerpt - Space has billions and billions of meteors and comets and God knows what else flying all over the universe.Because of probability, there is a small chance that such cosmic bodies could hit the earth…..only a very small probability of about one meteor of the size of the moon after every earth years. But our Jupiter, with that beautiful Saturn by his side, using his God given telekinetic ability of Extreme gravitational attraction will haul these meteors onto itself…..just like the bodyguard takes a bullet for President Obama!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sensitivity Training

Found this concept in a movie called The Believer
Excerpt - Sensitivity Training is a form of training that claims to make people more aware of their own prejudices, and more sensitive to others.

Only thing better than watching a Great movie is...

to watch a great trailer of a great movie.. Watching trailers of upcoming movies, is a great part of the movie-theater experience...

In the recent past, this trailer seemed like 10/10 for me.

(BTW, my wife Nikhila and me watched this movie on our first pelli-chupulu anniversary I think.... I told her I was taking her to a horror movie called Kill or Be Killed. She enjoyed the movie very much)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Telugu to English Dictionary, Telugu Ammayi

Telugu to English Dictionary - http://dsal.uchicago.edu/dictionaries/gwynn/

Below is a lyric from a great song titled Telugu Ammayi from the telugu movie Maryada Ramanna -

And 'Kunche' means (from above link) -
kunce n. painter's brush.

Song link at raaga.com - Telugu Ammayi from Maryada Ramanna
Full lyrics at - Telugu Ammayi lyrics

Chand Ke Paar Chalo, Benefits of long commutes

Listening to FM Radio in the auto/car/bus is helping me discover songs that I dont know..This is an old Rafi-Lata Mangeshkar song..

Long-Car-commutes - Listening to songs on FM Radio is one benefit of long-Car-commutes. Singing along is another major benefit.. (I somehow cannot listen to pre-selected songs on an mp3 player)
Long-Train/Bus-commutes - Reading is one benefit of long-Train/Bus-commutes. Since people used to not have a separate radio, not a lot of people listened to Radio on a Train/Bus...But with the radio available in cell phones now, nowadays, I am seeing it being used a lot.
Long-Bike-Commutes - No benefits.. except feeling the wind in your hair.. along with the dust,smoke,and the heat...and the wind of course. Somehow I have to extend the Radio-benefit to long-bike-commutes also.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Tired of being pissed off

American History X is a movie made in 1998. The protagonist is Derek Vinyard who is pissed off with state of the society. If not as much as Derek Vinyard, we still get pissed off with a lot of things as we get acquainted with how some things work in our society.

Below are two quotes (which I think) summarize the lesson that the movie intends to tell... and I hope to remember via this post.

1) Derek Vinyard to his brother Danny: I'm tired of being pissed off, Danny. I'm just tired of it.

2) Bob Sweeney: There was a moment, when I used to blame everything and everyone for all the pain and suffering and vile things that happened to me, that I saw happen to my people. Used to blame everybody. Blamed white people, blamed society, blamed God. I didn't get no answers 'cause I was asking the wrong questions. You have to ask the right questions.
Derek Vinyard: Like what?
Bob Sweeney: Has anything you've done made your life better?

3D Express Coach: China Plans Huge Buses That Can DRIVE OVER Cars

Below pic is showing a Bus on top of Cars

In India, the announcement would read as - India Plans Buses that can drive over bikes and scooters. It would be fantastic..

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Some George Carlin quotes

My friend Kiran posted a video of George Carlin on Facebook. From Wikipedia - "George Denis Patrick Carlin (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008) was an American stand-up comedian, social critic, actor, and author, who won five Grammy Awards for his comedy albums."

Below are some fantastic quotes by him -

20. Isn’t it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do “practice?”
24. I love and treasure individuals as I meet them, I loathe and despise the groups they identify with and belong to.
38. Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit.
45. Capitalism tries for a delicate balance: It attempts to work things out so that everyone gets just enough stuff to keep them from getting violent and trying to take other people’s stuff.
50. The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live.

Someone commented this about him - "He’s the only realist who has sense enough to put humor behind his ideas."

Great ideas presented in a dry manner can just float over the audience. (I am used to this...the floating part...over me I mean)

Soccer - To improve Dribbling


How to do the Elastico -

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Training Split

This is a training split of some fitness guru -
* Monday: Arms/Lats/Shoulders
* Tuesday: Legs/Abs
* Wednesday: Off
* Thursday: Rows/Chest/Arms
* Friday: Abs/Legs
* Saturday and Sunday: Off

Neera or Sweet Toddy


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Prestige movie explanation


I realized I did not understand this movie that well.. Have to see the movie again and then read the above explanation fully.

Edit - It turned out that the above explanation is not correct, however, if the story had been modified to the above, it would have been even better.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Silver Spoon

These are pics of small children doing hard labour work.. This is one of the harsh realities of our society..
I think as my friends and me got older, we all realized that we were all 'born with a silver spoon'... Whether our parents were rich or not, we all have been wealthy in terms of the opportunities we had and continue to have..

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance

http://projects.ict.usc.edu/itw/gel/EricssonDeliberatePracticePR93.pdf - The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance

Abstract - The theoretical framework presented in this article explains expert performance as the end result of individuals' prolonged efforts to improve performance while negotiating motivational and external constraints. In most domains of expertise, individuals begin in their childhood a regimen of effortful activities (deliberate practice) designed to optimize improvement. Individual differences, even among elite performers, are closely related to assessed amounts of deliberate practice. Many characteristics once believed to reflect innate talent are actually the result of intense practice extended for a minimum of 10 years. Analysis of expert performance provides unique evidence on the potential and limits of extreme environmental adaptation and learning.

Friday, July 9, 2010

How to prepare Coconut Oil

From http://www.anothersubcontinent.com/forums/lofiversion/index.php?t1147.html -
Feb 8 2007, 05:25 PM
Oh no, its milk extracted from fresh coconut.
Keep it for few hours in the fridge.
The milk will serperate from the water.
Just remove the milk solids and put it in the wok.
( of course there will be very little water)
It took me about 10 to 15 minutes.
I put it on slow fire.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

"A VERY SHORT STORY" by Ernest Hemingway

“The plot of a fictional work is a pattern of carefully selected, casually related events that contains conflict.” (Griffith, 42)

Hemingway uses very short sentences in his stories. An example is below -
The short story is here - http://records.viu.ca/~lanes/english/hemngway/vershort.htm
An analysis is here - the-analysis-of-ernest-hemingway-s-a-very-short-story

Friday, July 2, 2010


From http://www.worthview.com/25-inspirational-travel-quotes/ -

Travel Quotes

1. “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain
2. “The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he comes to see.” – Doug Lansky
3. “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine
4. “The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.” – Samuel Johnson
5. “He who does not travel does not know the value of men.” – Moorish proverb
6. “A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.” – John Steinbeck
7. “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller
8. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
9. “Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard
10. “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber
11. “Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.” – Paul Theroux
12. “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
13. “Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by.” – Robert Frost
14. “A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” – Lao Tzu
15. “Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.” – Benjamin Disraeli
16. “Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in a frame or a gem in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear. Travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of, giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art.” – Freya Stark
17. Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quiestest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.” – Pat Conroy
18. “Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.” – Seneca
19. “Too often travel, instead of broadening the mind, merely lengthens the conversation.” – Elizabeth Drew
20. “I think that travel comes from some deep urge to see the world, like the urge that brings up a worm in an Irish bog to see the moon when it is full.” Lord Dunsany
21. ” I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” Robert Louis Stevenson
22. “No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” Lin Yutang
23. “The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway.” Henry Boye
24. “I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine.” Caskie Stinnett
25. “To get away from one’s working environment is, in a sense, to get away from one’s self; and this is often the chief advantage of travel and change.” Charles Horton Cooley


Vedam meaning eternal, without end.

Vedam is a telugu movie I saw recently..It will go down as one of my favorite movies. It is a movie I can recommend to anyone.. It also has music by Keeravani, one of the great music directors of the telugu film industry.
Below song is from the end of the movie...

Krish (director) gives the thought-process behind the movie here - http://www.idlebrain.com/movie/postmortem/vedam.html

Trivia (from the above link) - • Nagayya was spotted by Krish on roads when he was asking for money from the passers-by.

Why Scaling Process, Manufacturing is important for the future?

In my opinion, it is important for the US to take corrective action to improve its employment scenario; what that corrective action is, I don't know, but I would definitely take former Intel's CEO & Chairman, Andy Grove's views, seriously.

In the below article, he points out some very important points, that we usually don't hear, when discussing the current model of US corporations' i.e shift manufacturing to China etc.
Some excerpts below -

The scaling process is no longer happening in the U.S. And as long as that’s the case, plowing capital into young companies that build their factories elsewhere will continue to yield a bad return in terms of American jobs.

Scaling used to work well in Silicon Valley. Entrepreneurs came up with an invention. Investors gave them money to build their business. If the founders and their investors were lucky, the company grew and had an initial public offering, which brought in money that financed further growth.
More importantly, the U.S. hadn’t yet forgotten that scaling was crucial to its economic future.

How could the U.S. have forgotten? I believe the answer has to do with a general undervaluing of manufacturing -- the idea that as long as “knowledge work” stays in the U.S., it doesn’t matter what happens to factory jobs. It’s not just newspaper commentators who spread this idea.

Offshore Production

Consider this passage by Princeton University economist Alan S. Blinder: “The TV manufacturing industry really started here, and at one point employed many workers. But as TV sets became ‘just a commodity,’ their production moved offshore to locations with much lower wages. And nowadays the number of television sets manufactured in the U.S. is zero. A failure? No, a success.”

I disagree. Not only did we lose an untold number of jobs, we broke the chain of experience that is so important in technological evolution. As happened with batteries, abandoning today’s “commodity” manufacturing can lock you out of tomorrow’s emerging industry.
Silicon Valley is a community with a strong tradition of engineering, and engineers are a peculiar breed. They are eager to solve whatever problems they encounter. If profit margins are the problem, we go to work on margins, with exquisite focus. Each company, ruggedly individualistic, does its best to expand efficiently and improve its own profitability. However, our pursuit of our individual businesses, which often involves transferring manufacturing and a great deal of engineering out of the country, has hindered our ability to bring innovations to scale at home. Without scaling, we don’t just lose jobs -- we lose our hold on new technologies. Losing the ability to scale will ultimately damage our capacity to innovate

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Longest Tennis Match In History

...took place just a few days back between Isner and Mahut at Wimbledon.
5th Set score: 70-68

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Paul Krugman's 'The Thrid Depression'; Derivatives sucking away Capital

Paul Krugman thinks we are in the early stages of a Depression.
His article in NY Times is here - The Third Depression
But this blogpost is about a comment by a reader (Bob Sallamack, NJ) to above article.

The below comment talks about how capital is flowing without producing any growth. Bob alleges that Derivatives,Buyouts,HedgeFunds are sucking away whatever Capital exists leaving nothing for investing for growth.
Dr. Krugman fails to mention capital in his analysis. We know that the Republicans no longer want to call our system capitalism but this is the reality of our past, present and future.

Yet there is no longer capital in our system for growth. The derivatives that eat up massive amounts of capital and allow little if any for growth, are still around even though everyone is aware that derivatives add almost nothing to our economy.

Large amounts of capital are also being eaten up by buyouts where instead of growth we ultimately find cost cutting and more unemployment to meet the large amount of debt that results from the high price of the buyout.

Banks that have access to cheap access to capital are not interested in using this capital for anything that would contribute to growth while there are investments in derivatives, buyouts, and hedge funds.

Companies are no longer interested in using earnings for growth to raise their stock prices since the new games is to provide dividends to share holders since dividends are no longer heavily taxed.

Most American companies now are being managed to simply view the company as a cash cow where milking the company for it all it is worth means more unemployment and no investment for future growth.

It is time for the economists to understand that capitalism simply is the flow of capital, and that the flow of capital does not necessarily mean a viable economy. Large amounts of capital flowed during the tulip speculation but did nothing to create a viable economy.

I believe it is time for the economists to start to study and understand the new flows of capital in our economy that do not produce any growth for the economy. There seems little purpose in relying on the past for guidance if past conditions no longer reflect the conditions of the present.
Below blogpost explains very clearly what Derivatives, Stocks and Bonds are -

Business (Indian) website

Tech news - http://www.domain-b.com/infotech/index.html

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Role of jargon, What does a 'falling yield' on a 10-year Treasury note mean ?

A common way to specify the difficulty level of concepts is as 'rocket-science' or 'not rocket-science'. Most concepts are usually 'not rocket-science'. But there is jargon associated with each subject, and without knowing the jargon, even simple concepts can seem like rocket-science.

I always liked teachers who stopped and defined/described these jargon terms every time they used them in their lectures. This helped students like me (who did not go over the previous day's lecture/material) follow the lecture without major problems.

It is one of my goals to understand an economics news-article fully one day, so below is explanation about the following economic jargon - 'falling yield' and 'Treasurys'...

From http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Stock-futures-tumble-on-apf-3481581188.html
Interest rates fell in the bond market as investors sought the safety of Treasurys. The yield on the 10-year note dropped to 2.98 percent, the first time it has fallen below 3 percent since April 2009. Its yield is used as a benchmark for many consumer loans and mortgages.

Falling yields are a sign that investors are willing to forgo potential big gains in stocks for more certain, but smaller profits in bonds.
And, what are Treasurys and what are 10-year notes etc ?

Treasury bills (or T-Bills) mature in one year or less. Many regard Treasury bills as the least risky investment available to U.S. investors

Treasury notes (or T-Notes) mature in one to ten years.

Treasury bonds (T-Bonds, or the long bond) have the longest maturity, from twenty years to thirty years.

Coach Dunga says..

“To be an adult, you have to be virtuous, take a position, act conclusive, have dignity and ask for forgiveness if it’s appropriate,” said Dunga.

Monday, June 28, 2010

evfuture.com, gizmag.com

http://www.evfuture.com/ - EVFuture.com is the happening place for people manufacturing, researching and looking to buy electric vehicles and bikes in India.

www.gizmag.com - very good technology website

Friday, June 25, 2010

Artificially-ripened mangoes, calcium carbide, wax on apples

Below links talk about artificial-ripening being used for mangoes in Mumbai, Chennai...In fact, these types of practices seem to be in use for other vegetables and fruits also..
Exceprt - FDA authorities said consumers should keep apples, jamuns, pears in warm water for five minutes so that the wax is washed off.
Wax, we can probably take care of, by doing the above..
To detect mangoes that are artificially-ripened :- From http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/health/illegal-chemical-ripening-method-imperils-indias-mango-trade_10055485.html
Though it is not easy to distinguish between the normal and the artificially ripened fruit, this can be done, Krishna said.

“The chemically altered mangoes have a subtle but bad smell and dark patches on their skin because of the calcium carbide heat. The organically produced and ripened mangoes look very ordinary, while the artificially ripened ones look more inviting,” Krishna added.

Major change in fuel pricing in India


Given the allegations of manipulation of fuel-prices by Goldman Sachs et al, I am not sure if it is good to deregulate fuel prices.. I don't know much about this topic, but listened to a TV discussion and it seemed like a bad idea.

Prices of basic necessities like fuel should be govt-regulated ..

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Beware of the Cronies by Amit Varma

Below is a very good article about Economics for laymen like me. It addresses topics like how economics has changed in India since its independence, what are the enemies of capitalism, whether free-markets-capitalism is even possible in reality, etc
Excerpt - Power and money always go together. The more power government has, the more it can subvert markets, the more big business runs to it, with big money, to safeguard its own interests. Crony capitalism is inevitable. Big government is one ass cheek, big business is another, and together they're shitting on capitalism.
It looks like Amit Varma is a writer to follow.

CRONY CAPITALISM AND INDIA, Before and After Liberalization - http://isidev.nic.in/pdf/WP0804.pdf

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

70 runs given off an over, deliberately...

Below link should be a very interesting read for cricket fans. The fact that the captain deliberately chose to give a heap of runs in 2nd-last-over in order to trap the batsmen in the last over, is a delicious piece of strategy -
Excerpt - With the last two overs remaining and Germon still on the crease, Wellington skipper John Morrison came up with a plan to induce the Canterbury batsmen into playing big shots and give Wellington a chance to capture the remaining two wickets. The idea was to bring on a part time bowler and give the Canterbury batsmen enough runs in the penultimate over that the target seemed gettable in the last six balls.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Where have all the goals gone?

Good analysis of how conditions, like which football is used, altitude of location, are affecting how many goals are scored in this World Cup...

The question then is why. Many have blamed the ball. Many anticipated it would be difficult for goalkeepers, but outfielders seem to find it difficult to control.

Figures are hard to come by, but several players have complained about its tendency to fly without dip, and observational evidence suggests a lot of shots blasted over and a lot of overhit crosses.

Then again, that may be the fault of the altitude — thinner air means fewer molecules to generate friction, and thus spin is diminished — which may also explain the tendency for crosses and shots to be overhit.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Staying Sane

A major challenge, probably the primary challenge, for an adult, in today's internet age is - to stay sane.

Ignorance was bliss. But today, because of the omnipresent media, we hear about so many horror stories the world over, and the next instant, we have re-focus and get back to work. I am not sure what that routine does to us psychologically.

I have, forever actually, been trying to come up with a philosophy that allows me to do both - do what I am supposed to do, and also, at least feel for the people in despair.

I guess, as an adult, we have to act professionally at work. No matter what happens, we have to get the work done. This requires a lot of self-discipline, which I lack unfortunately. I have tried to inculcate self-discipline, but lost the battle everytime by reasoning that it was not worth it or that it was not natural. Sometimes, we have to lose...

I think one should not read Google News etc while working. It really affects the mind when you read of an earthquake somewhere, but you have to re-focus onto your work.

Global tragedies aside, what about personal issues ? In my case, my personal life affects professional life immensely. And I dont think it is different with most people. It is very essential to work on our personal lives, so that we may have a good professional life.

Life throws at us, so many things, that it is ridiculous.. I realized that there is more happiness and pain, beauty and horror, good and evil, greatness and incompetence...than I will ever be able to imagine even.

It is important to try to stay sane through all of this. Do whatever it is, that helps you to stay sane.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Football - strategies

The World Cup begins today..
From http://edition.cnn.com/2010/SPORT/football/06/09/world.cup.bluffer.guide/index.html?hpt=C1 -

3. Total football
A football philosophy developed by the Dutch in the 1970s in which every outfield player is able to play in the position of any of his teammates. According to football aficionados, this makes the team structure completely fluid, adaptable and ultimately difficult to play against. It nearly worked for the Netherlands, but not quite.

4. Route one
The antithesis of Brazilian flair. It usually involves a more "industrial" method of kicking long aerial passes from defense to big, physical players in attack. Not pretty but it can be very effective.

World Cup Schedule - http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/competition/64/42/24/2010fwc_matchschedule_3004_en.pdf
Indian time = S. African time + 3.5 hrs

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Advice from Stephen Hawking

Excerpt -

As Hawking's children navigate the many complexities of human life, he told Sawyer that he's offered up three pieces of advice.

"One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it," he said. "Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don't throw it away."

Funny Kid Test-Answers

Below and other answers at http://www.vashtie.com/blog/2010/05/25/funny-funniest-kid-test-answers-of-all-time-via-huffingtonpost-com/

Friday, June 4, 2010

Zombie Workout, Parkour in foam rubber mock-up

This is unique workout program, really - working out imagining that someday you have to fight zombies....
To prepare for Z-Day, students do cardio, lift weights, and practice parkour maneuvers in a foam rubber mock-up of an urban environment
The underlined part above, is interesting..If you have seen Casino Royale (James Bond movie), you might remember the chase in the beginning of the movie, where the guy is jumping & climbing different things as if he were a monkey...Well, that is Parkour, a sport that is very popular in Europe and the guy in the movie is the founder of Parkour.... It is interesting that someone came up with the concept of 'foam rubber mock-up of urban environment' for lesser mortals to learn the sport.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The aim of life... from Bhagat Singh's prison diary

"The aim of life is no more to control the mind, but to develop it harmoniously; not to achieve salvation here after, but to make the best use of it here below; and not to realise truth, beauty and good only in contemplation, but also in the actual experience of daily life; social progress depends not upon the ennoblement of the few but on the enrichment of democracy; universal brotherhood can be achieved only when there is an equality of opportunity - of opportunity in the social, political and individual life." — from Bhagat Singh's prison diary

A space odyssey of the mind - BBC

Excerpts -
"Six would-be astronauts will this week begin a 520-day mock space voyage to simulate a mission to Mars. How will they cope with the huge psychological pressures?"
The biggest dangers, he says, are boredom; crew members forging emotional bonds, positive and negative, which undermine their professionalism; and, worst of all, the group sub-dividing into social cliques.

The way to get round all this this, he says, is clear leadership, explicit divisions of labour and very strict routines.

"Routines and habits are very calming," he adds. "You don't have to think all that much."

(It just occurred to me that these guys will be attempting a mega-epic version of the movie '40 Days and 40 Nights'...)

Monday, May 31, 2010

What do you do, Jack? What do you do?

"Pop quiz, hotshot. There's a bomb on a bus. Once the bus goes 50 miles an hour, the bomb is armed. If it drops below 50, it blows up. What do you do, Jack? What do you do?"

Dennis Hopper's line above from Speed, is one of my favorites..He died last weekend. He will always be remembered by my generation for his role in the movie Speed.

I sometimes have had fun with the above dialogue...'ok, you have a 10 chapters to study and 2 days time...what do you do jack, what do you do?' OR 'its Sunday evening 6 PM and all the theatres are probably sold out for the Evening show..but you desperately want to watch a movie..so what do you do jack, what do you do?'...So you see, Dennis Hopper will always live on..in my head....and most probably in several other people's heads.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

BBC Article explaining what is happening in EU

Excerpts -
The eurozone has a currency and a central bank but no central government. In place of that, the 1992 Maastricht Treaty imposed common rules: low budget deficits, national debts below 60% of GDP, no bailouts and no central bank intervention in the market for government debt.
The problem is that, just as with Wall Street, the rules were a fiction.

The Greek government, with the help of Goldman Sachs, had moved some of its debts "off balance sheet", just like Enron and Lehman Brothers.
Northern Europe has seized control of southern Europe - and for me, this completes a process of risk-transfer that's been under way since Lehman collapsed.

In the autumn of 2008 all the risk was in the banking system.
Then, states all over the world took on that risk and for a year they contained it.
Now the risk is passing from small states to big states. And it's passing to somewhere else - to the streets.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Best Asian travel destinations

This seems to be a very nice list of places to cover.. My colleague just showed me pictures of his trip to Munnar and then I saw this link in rediff saying Munnar has been voted 2nd best travel destination in Asia.. Have to definitely see Munnar soon.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

A new Low

I am watching & listening to A Raja's tapes on Headlines Today channel that IT dept got using phone tapping .

The 2G spectrum auction is going to go into history as a mega achievement in corruption.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New member in our family

Yesterday, April 20th 2010 at 5:39 PM, a baby boy arrived into our family. My wife Nikhila went through a very long labor, so it was very stressful. But once he arrived, it is all happiness and excitement.

When he grows up, I hope he makes everyone around him happy.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

No cold water after eating

Excerpt - .... the cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you have just consumed. It will slow down the digestion. Once this 'sludge' reacts with the acid, it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine. Very soon, this will turn into fats and lead to cancer. It is best to drink hot soup or warm water after a meal. Just like what the Japanese and Chinese loves to do, drinking hot tea after mealtime.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Attitude in sports

Is SRK tweeting his way out of Kolkata Knight Riders?

The above news article on ndtv.com is about SRK's tweets suggesting he will leave the Knight Riders, because they have failed to reach semi-finals again. In the above page, I posted the below comments because I felt that SRK is promoting a really bad attitude w.r.t how to play sports -
"Every team should aim to play good cricket. Win or lose, the viewers want to watch good cricket. Should this not be the philosophy of every team in any situation- to play good cricket, win or lose ?

Mr SRK, I am a viewer and I don't care who comes to semi-finals. Every time I watch a IPL match, I am hoping to see some spectacular batting, or bowling, or fielding effort. Please understand this very important aspect about us viewers. We really don't care who wins or loses in the Indian Premier Leagure (even if some of us think we do!).

Perfection, even for a moment, leaves an everlasting memory, and that is why we are watching the IPL.. After all, all teams are Indian teams.. (No one can wish for Tendulkar to get out, can they?)

As an owner, I think you are harming your team by putting too much pressure on the team.

Play-only-to-win attitude is harmful to everyone involved. I am shocked no one talks about this serious issue any more."
This also reminds me of an incident with my roommate Diwakar during my Masters - an NFL match was on TV (I did not know any of the teams at that point), so I asked Diwakar, which team he was supporting.. I will not forget his answer ever... He said he always supports the Offense..

Monday, April 12, 2010

What is ULIP?

What is ULIP?
What is ULIP?
ULIP stands for Unit Linked Insurance Plans. As we know that insurance is for protecting our life from the any uncertain events like death or accident. The purpose of the normal insurance plan is just protecting the life but not ensuring any savings for the future. Many people wanted plan which gives protection also gives the returns for their investment. So, insurance companies come up with the ULIP plan where the premium about is invested in the share market and returns better income on the maturity period.

Why would Osama DENY involvement in 9/11 ?

This question has been bothering me since 9/11 happened.

While growing up, and even now, I have noticed that, whenever there is a terrorist attack, every time, within a couple of days, we hear some terrorist group 'claim' that they were responsible for the event. It is almost like, they are eager to be credited for the event...

So, given this trend, and given the magnitude of 9/11, if Osama was in fact responsible for 9/11, far from denying his involvement, I would have expected him to trumpet it as a great achievement of his....

Friday, April 9, 2010

Corporation 101

This video explains some interesting concepts -

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Colbert Roasting Bush

This is just magical... this is so good, it is not supposed to happen, but it did!

Diet of a Rikishi (Sumo wrestler)

Diet of a Rikishi (respectable term for a Sumo wrestler):

1) They do not eat breakfast, or midday (on most occasions).
2) Overeating at night forces the body to store the extra energy as fat.
"The traditional meal is a stew called chanko-nabe. It has some kind of meat (fish, seafood, chicken, pork, or beef) and is served with rice and vegetables. Although the meal is high in protein for rapid weight gain, Chanko-nabe itself is not fattening. The secret is in the sheer amount that Sumo wrestlers [will] consume.
Sumo wrestlers also drink large quantities of beer. Alcohol increases cortisol levels which leads to fat deposits around the abdominal area, creating the ‘beer belly’. This is desirable in sumo wrestlers since a large stomach makes them more stable in the ring."
3) They also sleep almost immediately after eating.

Above is excerpt from http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080130181825AAFJQqW

Regarding 1 above, I think, by not eating breakfast, they make sure that the body does not set a high metabolism rate (which, I understand, is set at the start of the day depending on the amount of breakfast)...

So depending on timing of food consumption, the same food, in one case (i.e big-early-breakfast), will not lead to weight gain, and in other cases (i.e.no/late breakfast) will lead to weight gain.

Now I know how to gain weight! (My wife Nikhila knows that I said this too many times already with absolutely no results)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Only Path To Tomorrow - an essay by Ayn Rand

The main subject of the below essay is the utmost importance of individual's rights.
She also discusses the following historical phenomenon - the claim of representing "the common good" as a way to usurp the individual's rights. -
The Only Path To Tomorrow - by Ayn Rand
Excerpt - Throughout history, no tyrant ever rose to power except on the claim of representing ``the common good.´´ Napoleon ``served the common good´´ of France. Hitler is ``serving the common good´´ of Germany. Horrors which no man would dare consider for his own selfish sake are perpetrated with a clear conscience by ``altruists´´ who justify themselves by-the common good.

No tyrant has ever lasted long by force of arms alone. Men have been enslaved primarily by spiritual weapons. And the greatest of these is the collectivist doctrine that the supremacy of the state over the individual constitutes the common good. No dictator could rise if men held as a sacred faith the conviction that they have inalienable rights of which they cannot be deprived for any cause whatsoever, by any man whatsoever, neither by evildoer nor supposed benefactor.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Anakha singing a Rahman song

There are some really talented kids & teenagers taking part in the singing competitions on Indian tv. Anakha is one such girl. I was lucky enough to see this video last year ..Would like to store it here.. Incredible performance. BTW, I cant understand Tamil (which is the language of the song).

Since I cannot leave you on a high like the above
, because....because you have to get on with your life, here is something that will bring you back to earth - Actual video of the song in the movie

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hollywood Stock Exchange - hsx.com

Speculate on how much money a movie is going to earn at www.hsx.com
More about it on hindu.com - http://www.hindu.com/2010/03/29/stories/2010032951591500.htm

Distance Learning at AU & Gitam, Public Interest & Digital Governance Diplomas

Distance Education at AU and Gitam -

2 new one-year courses are being introduced in AU's distance learning program - Public Interest and Digital Governance.

Public Interest - This course is designed to enable students to gain knowledge of the political and administrative process.

Digital Governance - This course includes subjects like principles of public administration and management, study of electronic administrative systems, rural development, administrative-public relations, capacity building and empowerment and corporate governance.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Russia and China as a counter-balance to the West?

This could be the long-term international political situation.
Video includes an assessment of the current global-financial-situation...

Friday, March 26, 2010

How complex systems collapse - sudden or gradual ?

Niall Ferguson argues that complex systems, when they collapse, they do so suddenly. This is slightly unintuitive, right ?
Complexity and Collapse - Niall Ferguson for ForeignAffairs.com
Excerpt - ....empires do not in fact appear, rise, reign, decline, and fall according to some recurrent and predictable life cycle. It is historians who retrospectively portray the process of imperial dissolution as slow-acting, with multiple overdetermining causes. Rather, empires behave like all complex adaptive systems. They function in apparent equilibrium for some unknowable period. And then, quite abruptly, they collapse. To return to the terminology of Thomas Cole, the painter of The Course of Empire, the shift from consummation to destruction and then to desolation is not cyclical. It is sudden.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Paper by Greenspan - The Crisis

Greenspan Concedes Fed Failed to Gauge Bubble - NYTimes.com
Above article mentions a 48 page paper that Greenspan submitted to Brookings Institution, but the link provided in the article is Not working.
Correct link is - http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/Programs/ES/BPEA/2010_spring_bpea_papers/spring2010_greenspan.pdf
The Crisis, by former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. To prevent a future financial crisis, the primary imperative must be increased regulatory capital and liquidity requirements on banks and significant increases in collateral requirements for globally traded financial products, irrespective of the financial institutions making the trades, Greenspan says. He offers his views about regulatory reform, reflecting on moral hazard and how to address the “too big to fail” problem, which he re-terms “too interconnected to be liquidated quickly.” He knocks the idea of a “systemic regulator,” part of a package of reforms currently being discussed on Capitol Hill, asserting that asset bubbles cannot be prevented and trying to diffuse them would in fact stunt economic growth. “Unless there is a societal choice to abandon dynamic markets and leverage for some form of central planning, I fear that preventing bubbles will in the end turn out to be infeasible. Assuaging their aftermath seems the best we can hope for. Policies, both private and public, should focus on ameliorating the extent of deprivation and hardship caused by deflationary crises,” he writes.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

An organic farming guru, Participatory Development, Auroville, GM seeds

Excerpt -
Two people who changed my life I was like a western educated man in pants and shirts. But two people - Paulo Freire and Vinoba Bhave - changed my life completely. An article by Paulo Freire in the magazine Idea and Action published by the Food and Agriculture Organisation, Rome dwelt on participatory development and participatory education, and said if you wanted to do any development for the people, you also should participate in the process.

For that, you should go to their level. So, I decided to change myself in my dress, behaviour and attitude, and be one of them.

Vinoba Bhave wrote in the same magazine that education is a process of giving and pure theoretical education is not education at all.

When I started dressing up like them, all the farmers accepted me and embraced me as one among them. They started singing and dancing with me. I then understood that I was at the right place. I went from village to village trying to learn from them, in the process teaching them too about organic farming.

What I did first was to join hands with a young farmer who had two pairs of cattle. While he ploughed his field with one, I ploughed with the other. Ploughing was not new to me as I had done that in family fields too.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How to think for myself

I was watching The Colbert Report and Stephen Colbert asked Raj Patel, an author & activist, the below interesting question -
Stephen Colbert: I would love to think for myself. How should I do that?

Raj Patel: "I entirely think questioning the world around you, why it is that resources are distributed the way that they are is a good start. And then getting to the root causes of why there is poverty, why there is hunger. Asking these kinds of questions gets you to a much better place for thinking about how to change the world than merely following the directives of someone whose voice is ethereally about you right now.
The underlined sentence above is a very good answer to an extremely complex question. To start to understand the world around us, we have to start by questioning why 'resources are distributed the way that they are' currently.

(First chapter of the book The Value of Nothing - First Chapter of The Value of Nothing - pdf
Interview about the book - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXDRNeCFxKQ&feature=related

First chapter mentions that The Great Transformation, a 1940s book by Karl Polanyi, is a very important book to read.. Also mentioned is The Shock Doctrine - Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein.

Other books by Raj Patel - Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System
A talk about "Real Price of Food" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21b8kRKcgV4&feature=related)